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Festive advice from fire service

The men and women of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind the public that the winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together; but that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Holiday Decorations

- Be careful with Holiday Decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

- Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection. Use surge protectors or power strips that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.

- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

- Blow out candles and turn off all light strings before leaving the house or going to bed.

Heating

- Keep anything that can burn at least three (3) feet away from heating equipment like the fireplace and space heater.

- Use space heating equipment in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.

- Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

- Make sure that the fire place has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them into a metal container.

Cooking

- To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy.

- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. Turn off the burner if you leave the kitchen for any reason.

- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home. Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

- Keeping Things That Can Catch Fire Away from Heat Sources

- Keep anything that can catch fire–oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains–away from your stovetop.

- Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.

Christmas Trees

- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, candles, or lights.

- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

- Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor

or outdoor use.

- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

- Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

- Keep pets away from Christmas trees and decorations

- Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home.

Press release from the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service